Kia Hitt

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)


Language, Literature and Writing

First Advisor

Dr. Stella (Lijuan) Ye


This thesis addresses research on the current issues and conditions of those living in poverty in Western China. Although China has experienced rapid economic growth throughout the last 30 years, more than 150 million Chinese people still live under the international poverty line of $1.90 per day. The majority of those living under extreme poverty primarily reside in the Western rural regions of China, while development and economic growth remains largely restricted to those living along the Eastern coast of China. Large trends of income and GDP inequality spread across the nation from Eastern to Western China. This trend has encouraged many migrants from West China to migrate towards East China, further perpetuating the cycle of poverty of those who cannot afford to move out or improve their economic status in China. China’s Western Development Strategy adopted in 2000 has taken measure to improve infrastructure and regional development, but more initiatives are still needed in the West to improve infrastructure, education, and attract FDI to stimulate similar growth in Western China as in Eastern China.